Background: Dysregulation of inflammatory processes is linked to perinatal complications yet a comprehensive description of cytokine levels throughout the perinatal period is lacking. We report prospective, serial levels of 29 unique cytokines measured in maternal blood during pregnancy, in the cord blood at birth, and in the neonatal blood. Methods: Pregnant women (n = 140) for recruited from a Midwest tertiary medical center. Blood was obtained at five timepoints: 12–20 weeks, 24–28 weeks, and at labor in the women, umbilical cord at birth, 24–72 h in the newborn. Cytokine levels were analyzed using an electrochemiluminescence-based immunoassay. Results: Levels for 29 cytokines were measured. The data were separated into two groups: pregnancies with (n = 82) and without major complications (n = 53) (preterm birth, preeclampsia, diabetes mellitus). Eighteen cytokines showed significant changes over time (p <.002). The majority of the cytokines were highest in the newborn. No differences in cytokine levels between complication groups were noted at any timepoint. Conclusions: This is the first known study to report prospective, serial cytokine levels throughout the perinatal period for pregnancies with/without complications. No differences in maternal cytokine levels between those with/without complications were detected; studies with a larger sample size would be needed to validate our current findings. Results also suggest cytokine dysregulation may be more localized to the placenta making it difficult to measure and predict during pregnancy using maternal systemic blood specimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology